Marina Rodriguez: If Cynthia Calvillo is willing to scrap at UFC on ESPN 7, it will be a war

Marina Rodriguez is ready to go to war on Saturday night.

Rodriguez (12-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) takes on Cynthia Calvillo (8-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 7, and despite only having three UFC fights, finds herself in a good position to break into the top of the strawweight rankings.

“She has more UFC experience than I do,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie in her native Portuguese. “I also had several amateur bouts early on, but it was mostly muay Thai. She has wins by decision, submission, and knockout, and so do I. I think it’s going to be a balanced fight, in regards to stats. She only has one loss, which was a bit controversial. I have no losses. I think it’s going to be very interesting.

“If she shows up eager to scrap, the true winners will be the fans. It will be a war. We’re going to see who can stand the pressure. For me, every bout is a war, and I’m willing to fight to the very end.”

A “Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil” alum who trains out of the Thai Brasil academy, Rodriguez picked up the biggest win of her career in her last outing, defeating Tecia Torres via unanimous decision in August. Rodriguez believes the win over Torres proved that she’s ready for the division’s elite.

“Regarding the future, I remain centered and only focused on my next bout,” Rodriguez said. “Of course, with another win, especially in an impressive way, we’ll have a lot of eyes on us going into 2020. With a great win, the next opponent will be even tougher and even better-ranked. That’s what we want. We want to keep getting better so these opportunities will present themselves. That’s how we plan to get to a title bout one day. It doesn’t seem too far.”

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